In the quiet of a bedroom, tinnitus noises can become more obvious – which can be very distracting and can interfere with our ability to drift off peacefully. Anticipating that we will hear our tinnitus louder in the quiet of the bedroom can also lead to anxiety, which, in turn, can further disrupt our sleep.
So, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to help you get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed in the morning!
1. Tell your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping
It’s important that your doctor knows you’re experiencing insomnia as it could be related to another medical condition rather than your tinnitus – and your doctor can only treat it if he or she knows about it. Your doctor may also prescribe you sleeping tablets to help you overcome your sleeping troubles in the short term, if you’re going through a particularly rough patch.
2. Drink less caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant found in black and green teas, coffee, cola, cocoa and energy drinks that keeps you awake. If it’s too difficult for you to cut out caffeine completely, try drinking it less and only in the morning to avoid its effects close to bedtime.
3. Get enough exercise
While exercising right before bed can throw off your sleep cycle, keeping active during the day, and staying fit will help you sleep better.
4. Get up and leave your bedroom
If you’ve been lying in bed for over 30 minutes and haven’t been able to fall asleep, get up and go to another room. Read a book or listen to a meditation podcast, and then go back to your room and try to sleep again. If you’re not asleep within another 30 minutes, repeat the process again.
5. Only sleep in your bedroom
Don’t do anything that will stimulate your mind in your bedroom, such as watching TV, checking your emails or doing your tax return. You might think these things will relax you, or bore you to sleep but actually, they will keep your mind busy and awake.
6. Relax for an hour before bedtime
Take a bath. Meditate. Light a few candles and listen to some calming music. Get your mind ready for drifting off to the land of nod. Get into the habit of a “preparing for bedtime routine”, doing the same things at around the same time every night.
7. Try not to nap during the day
If you’ve suffered from a bad night’s sleep, it can be tempting to nap during the day to make up for it. But this can cause a vicious cycle of not being able to sleep at night again.
8. Drink less alcohol
While you might feel that a glass of wine will provide some tinnitus relief and help you get to sleep faster, it also disturbs your sleep pattern and prevents you from getting enough REM sleep. REM sleep is when we dream and thought to be the most restorative part of the sleep cycle – so if you don’t get enough REM, you can wake up still feeling groggy and tired even if you think you’ve slept for 8 hours.
9. Quit smoking
While there are many reasons to quit smoking, you may not have realised that cigarettes are also stopping you get to sleep properly. That’s because nicotine, like caffeine, is a stimulant that can keep your mind awake.
10. Try sound therapy for tinnitus
Sound therapy for tinnitus works in one of two ways:
- It creates physiological changes in sensitivity in the hearing parts of the brain
- It provides a psychological distraction to the tinnitus sounds and helps you relax
So, listening to quiet, calming classical music, white noise, ASMR, or certain environmental sounds (by opening a window to hear bird song or even the sounds of the city, for example) could help you get a better night’s sleep.
Tinnitus irritating you? Book a FREE tinnitus consultation now
There’s no tinnitus treatment that will provide a cure, but these tips should help make your condition more manageable. If you’re worried you may have undiagnosed tinnitus and would like to come in for a free tinnitus consultation, you can book an appointment online, call us on 0800 52 00 546, or pop into your local THCP practice.